Those that missed it — or want to make sure they were not hallucinating parts of it — can re-live the entire event by starting here.

Prince of All Media Mitch Kokai also has broken out several shorter segments, including this one featuring Pat Mumford conceding there has been a breach of trust between local residents and local government over the implementation of the current plan and the South line project.

What this exchange does not capture, however, is Mumford’s claim that mechanisms are now in place to avoid the cost run up associated with the South line in future lines. Essentially Mumford argues that it is impossible for the MTC to approve a rail line we cannot afford. But this overlooks the precise cause of much of the South line overrun.

As the Deloitte Consulting study for the Federal Transit Administration noted, bids for work on the South line came in much higher than expected by CATS, putting the project virtually alone among its peers the study examined. More importantly, and contrary to Mumford’s assurances, these type of big bid surprises come too late in the process to avoid starting a project you may not be able to afford.

For example, on the North line, the cost of relocating 100-years of infrastructure next to the rail line could turn out to be much more expensive than anyone expects. But once you start doing that, you are stuck.

More importantly, Mumford’s claims about inflation being the culprit in the misunderstanding between local officials and the public is itself extremely misleading. As former city councilman Mike Jackson later detailed for the audience, inflation was explicitly excluded from cost estimates of the South line and the overall transit plan because inflation was not included on the revenue side either.

Local officials and the consultants they hired, Jackson explained, repeatedly claimed that leaving inflation out on the cost side and the revenue side would cancel each other out, meaning that if inflation was 5 percent, the cost would increase by 5 percent and revenue would go up by the same about.

That, of course, has not happened. And that explains why we are already some $200 million in debt on the South line before it has even run an inch.

In sum, the pro-tax camp still cannot defend the finances of the $9 billion plan and pledge that it will never require additional revenue to complete. In addition, the pro-tax camp does not dispute that the North line will have virtually no impact on congestion in North Meck or the possibility that it will actually make congestion even worse.

We need a new plan.

Bonus Observation: I think Pat Mumford misheard me when I said the Uptown Arena came in on budget. At least I think I said “on” not “over” because I was trying to make the point that not all of our local construction projects were hit by this amazing run-up in cost associated with the South line.

Bonus Observation II: Special shout-out to Uber-Commenter dj, who was there to document the event with photos (including Mayor Pat) and most importantly, the little propaganda video the pro-tax team is screening around Charlotte.

Bonus Observation III: Speaking of Mayor Pat, I’m told — and I’m truly sorry I missed this — that the Mayor chewed out some guy he thought was me, over something the Mayor read on Meck Deck. How this confusion happened, I have no idea, but I’d love to know more about it.

Bonus Observation IV: Finally, at the risk of breaking an arm, I am going to note that the incredibly biased, dogmatic John Locke Foundation nonetheless brought in Todd Littman and gave him a forum to present his ideas to the local public and local officials. Will other public policy entities with strong opinions on this and other issues match that?

Let’s find out.